The Tundra Drums - CAUYAT - The Beat of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta


By Zachariah Bryan
Drums Editor 

Plane crashes near Bethel


Alaska State Troopers

Two Hageland Aviation pilots died when their plane crashed near Three Step Mountain last week.

On April 8, a Cessna 208 Caravan plane operated by Hageland Aviation crashed near Bethel, killing two pilots: Derrick Cedars, 42 of Bethel and Greggory McGee, 46 of Anchorage.

Around 5:15 p.m., Alaska State Troopers in Bethel were notified the plane was overdue in the vicinity of Three Step Mountain. Within the hour, the wreckage of the plane was seen near a fishing weir, burning. The two pilots were on a training mission.

The Alaska Army Guard in Bethel dispatched a Blackhawk helicopter with local fire personnel and Alaska State Troopers. Troopers observed a large debris field and charred willows around the crash site. The two pilots were found dead in the crash.

"When you have a family as close as ours at Hageland Aviation, you hope you never receive this sort of news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Greggory and Derrick as well as all those who have had a chance to work with them," said Hageland Aviation President Jim Hickerson.

Cedars was Hageland's lead aviation pilot and is survived by his wife and two children. McGee is survived by his wife.

The National Transportation Advisory Board has been on the scene investigating the cause of the crash.

Four people died in another Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 near St. Mary's in November. Soon after, Era changed its name to Ravn, though officials deny that the crash had anything to do with the change.


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